Indian stock markets opened the last trading week of the current financial year on a negative note Monday. Both the benchmark indices, the S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, dropped by about 1.5 percent on profit-booking by investors ahead of the F&O expiry March 31.
The Sensex lost 371 points, or 1.46 percent, to close at 24,966, while the Nifty ended at 7,615, a decline of 101 points, or 1.31 percent.
The biggest Sensex loser was Tata Steel (down 5.23 percent), followed by State Bank of India, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors. State Bank of India closed with a loss of 4.24 percent at Rs 188.45 after having rallied almost 19 percent in the past one month.
Stocks that lifted the Sensex included NTPC, GAIL (India) and Bajaj Auto.
Though Infosys ended the day with a loss, it touched a 52-week high of Rs 1,234 during the day. Other stocks that touched a 52-week high on the BSE included Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor and Bajaj Finance.
Other major losers on the BSE were Natco Pharma, Titagarh Wagons, Vedanta, Hindalco, DLF and Titan.
Major gainers outside the Sensex included GVK Power Infra, Sundaram Fasteners, BASF India, Biocon and TTK Prestige. GVK Power closed the day with a gain of 6.43 percent on news that the company has divested its stake in Bangalore International Airport Limited to Fairfax Group for Rs 2,149 crore.
On the Nifty, sectoral indices that dropped included bank, auto, realty, infra, pharma and commodities.